Clinical Versus Counseling Psychology Essay Example

For many, including myself, figuring out the difference between Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology could put you through some stress and headaches. John C. Norcross decided to explain a few of the similarities and difference in hopes to help students understand the two and figure out exactly which one is best for them. Norcross with the help of his colleagues were able to pull research ranging from the differences in research areas to statics on overall grade point averages (GPA) and show just how different and similar both fields can be.

The Difference Between Clinical And Counseling Psychology

In Norcross's article Clinical Versus Counseling Psychology: What's the Diff? Norcross examines the similarities and differences as well as professional actives, employment settings, graduate admissions and research areas of the clinical and counseling graduate fields. Norcross explains that both clinical and counseling psychology are similar in the aspects that graduates of the doctoral level programs are often eligible for the same professional benefits and that the APA (American Psychological Association) has even stopped distinguishing between clinical and counseling internships hence making one list of accredited internships for both sets of students. A few differences for both programs fall under categories such as size and location. Clinical psychology programs tend to be in more demand and produce 2,000 doctoral degrees per year where counseling programs only produces 500 new psychologists a year. Norcross goes on to explain how clinical psychology is also generally housed in the departments or schools of psychology and counseling programs are generally held in a verity of other departs such as education. Norcross notes on how both clinical and counseling share similarities in professional activities as well as employment settings in the idea that they both help people in the private practice as well as the universities. However, research has determined that counseling psychologists are more often employed in university counseling center working with healthier less pathological groups while clinicians are typically in more hospital settings working with the more extremely disturbed population.

Norcross and his colleagues were also able to obtain information regarding current and previous graduate student admissions regarding overall GRE (graduate record examination), GPA, gender and minorities. This information showed that though their grades were similar, clinical PhD programs have a higher mean score then counseling. For both programs two thirds of the entering doctoral students were women and one fifth were ethnic minorities. And for both approximately two thirds of incoming doctoral students were baccalaureate level and one third master's level. Norcross explains that this conclusion was however tempered by the fact that counseling psychology programs accepted a far higher proportion of master's-degree students then PsyD programs.

The Contribution of Norcross in Psychology

Overall, I thought Norcross did a great job at explaining the similarities when it came down to what both clinical and counseling have in common. I believe that because the boarder line with the two continues to grow smaller and smaller, therefore there were more common factors rather then differences. I believe that with further research, Norcross could have found more difference. I believe that with his topic covering the difference of the two, possibly adding more factors into how long students can expecting the program to take them as well as longevity in each field. Maybe a small paragraph over just what to expect in each field when working with your patients. Like for example, as a clinical meaning more one on one with someone in extreme need of psychotherapy. Or Counseling meaning that they will primary deal with someone planning out their future or getting prepared for a big step in their life such as getting married or going to college. Though for the simplicity of the paper, I do like the topics he chose to cover. I definitely think this is a subject worth researching and with Norcross being a professor of psychology at the University of Scranton and serving as an advisor there I'm sure he is confident in the research needed and just what students are looking for answer wise.

The primary concern I would have with any question on rather or not the information provided was up to date would be that a lot of his statistics came from the late 90's. With class size information coming from 1999, when in 1999 research shows that there were roughly 14 million students in school with 3.47 million being private school and as of 2016 there are roughly 19 million students in school. Thought it may not be much, I would wonder if with recent breakthrough in the field of psychology, would that boost in students tip the scales one way or another. I believe I would have added a survey to better determine the primary factors as to why each student chose either the clinical route or the counseling route. Possibly determine if there were any certain factors like geological or age that helped attribute to their decisions.

Summing Up

In general, I feel that Norcross did an excellent job at creating an article to help those struggling with their decision on rather or not to go into clinical or counseling for their graduate program. His research helps with laying out the factors that are similar along with their differences and even answer a few concerns regarding their admissions process and required test scores. I believe that in the future their will be even more advancements to help bring the two fields closer to each other and coincide as one form of psychology or either they will begin to from apart from each other until they form there on study fields completely. I would have like to gain answers regarding what Norcross though the future of clinical and counseling held as well as his own experiences with students coming to him for advice on the topic and the information he would share with them. But overall I believe the article did its job with the authors intent to cover both similarities and differences with both fields and his attempt at explain both to the audience.


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